Christmas is just around the corner, there’s so much traffic all over town, haven’t done my shopping yet, travelling soon……..so much to do……. Sensory overload….slow down, no need to stress out.
When we are stressed, hormones like cortisol flood our system producing the “fight or flight response” our heart rate goes up, we breathe more heavily (requiring more oxygen) and our blood vessels constrict. Stress when left unchecked can contribute to health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and Diabetes.
Here are some helpful tips to De-stress
- Create a Relaxation room/space: Just a space will do, carve out a space in a room, it’s a space solely devoted to relaxing(one thing we sometimes find very hard to do). You can have a really comfortable chair or daybed with dim lights or candles nearby (if you’re a candle person). The space should contain whatever you enjoy, a space you can relax without too much stimulus. No cell phones, no laptops, nothing remotely un-relaxing should be found in this space. Clear your mind of all distractions and stressors, chill, put your feet up, read a book, look through a magazine. And if you don’t know how to relax then, you’ll learn while in the space.
- Have a Hot Bath: Heat relaxes the muscles, taking a long bath can be soothing for the mind as well. Stock up on your favorite bath salts and soaps, get a bath pillow, decorate the room with candles. Create an in-home spa by incorporating spa treatments like facials, do a body scrub, wow, you will feel like a new person.
- Exercise Daily: Exercise helps boost endorphins and reduces stress, you can experience benefits with a 30 minutes a day workout.
- Breathe Slowly: When you are relaxed, you breathe through your nose in a slow, even and gentle way. Deliberately controlled breathing can reduce levels of stress hormones in the blood. And increase feelings of calm and well-being.
- Keeping a sense of humor: A good laugh has great short and long term effects. Laughter can relieve your stress response, it soothes tension, stimulates circulation and aides muscle relaxation, all of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. So don’t be too uptight, loosen up a little.
Aim to find active ways to manage your stress. The Inactive ways you might have been using like surfing the internet, watching television or playing video games may seem relaxing, but they may increase your stress over the long term. Instead practice getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy balanced diet, avoiding tobacco use or use of illicit substances and you’ll feel less stressed. Socializing with friends and family and creating time for hobbies also help as well.
Make the holidays an enjoyable one.